Production of the the Hindustan Ambassador, one of the very last classic cars you can buy new, has been halted due to financial issues caused by poor demand in a ‘stuttering’ car market. The car, which is known as the ‘Amby’ in its home land of India, is still in daily use and continues to prove popular as a taxi, especially in Southern cities.
The Ambassador has been in production in varying forms since 1957 and is originally based upon the Morris Oxford Series III. You can read the full account of its introduction and production here on AROnline. Suspension of production at its factory located close to the city of Kolkata, is a reflection of collapsing sales – in 2013-’14 a mere 2200 examples rolled off the line.
A lack of investment into Hindustan’s factory and in the car itself is also thought to have dealt a serious blow. Although the car has been revised many times, most notably in 2004 with the Avigo model (above), the car that was once the mainstay of Government officials has been overtaken by more modern cars, as India’s market has gradually opened up during the past two decades.
The Amby is also still warmly regarded by many Indians, who see it as their first national car – and one that many families owned during in the past – but nostalgia alone can’t maintain sales. Hindustan Motors said in a statement: ‘The suspension of work will enable the company in restricting mounting liabilities and restructure its organisation and finances and bring in a situation conducive to reopening of the plant.’
The chances of Hindustan restarting Ambassador production are said to be very slim indeed.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.